Two blooms from a bee balm plant (monarda) against a backdrop of carex grass. I had almost given up hope of this wonderful plant flowering this year – it has been very slow to come up and to blossom (about a month later than usual) so I’m thrilled it has put in a late Summer appearance.
As the name suggests, bees LOVE this plant and it smells quite wonderful too. This variety is Violet Queen and is supposed to offer good resistance to powdery mildew – although it suffered with mildew quite badly during last Summer’s hot drought despite being watered regularly. It is part of the bergamot family, the oil of which is used to flavour Early Grey tea but I’m not sure if the leaves of this one are suitable – will have to find out.